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Where do I Complain?

Affilliates dominating AdWords for certain keywords



5:40 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

So I don't normally complain as there are usually better ways to solve problems.

In this case, 1 product sold through many affiliates is absolutely dominating the AdWords top 8 categories.

They do this through a variety of sites disguised as review sites.

I have some respect for this, but all 8 positions? And they aren't even fair reviews.

This is simply not fair and there needs to be some kind of process for identifying this behavior and trying to put an end to it.

Please, does any body have any suggestions as to what works and what doesn't work?




4:20 am on Dec 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I don't see any AdWords rules being broken. Each affiliate is using their own domain (I presume) and bidding high enough to get to the first page. Yes, it's frustrating.

A long time ago I was approached by a company to set up my "own site" using their template and to promote it using AdWords, because they only got one position. I was not interested, but I would not be surprised if all the "affiliates" you see are sponsored by the merchant in some way, but it would be impossible to prove.

Do your best to optimise your ads and landing pages and get to page 1.


7:08 am on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

In this case, 1 product sold through many affiliates is absolutely dominating the AdWords top 8 categories.

From your post, it sounds like you’re not affiliate. You sell your own thing? It does not sound right how they can be profitable with just a small portion of the total profit while you cannot make your own.

This is simply not fair and there needs to be some kind of process for identifying this behavior and trying to put an end to it.

Why end? What’s the benefit of it? What would be better if they’re not there?
Having a chance to be in top 3 for under 30 cents? ;) You want to sink Google’s shares even more? Bit of joking now – I had to, sorry. All before was serious.


5:14 am on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The potential harm of these sites is that they provide "independent" reviews of products, but clearly favor the product for which the affiliate gets the best commission. It's misleading to the user and the plague of these ads in the results is also annoying. Nothing really unique is being offered. It's similar to when Google used to allow multiple ads to run side by side on the same domain.

Complain to the AdWords support people and get anyone else who agrees with you to do the same. Send an email with key points, similar to the above, as to why you don't like seeing these ads. Don't expect an immediate result, but if enough people complain, they will take action in the form of a policy.


10:20 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just because it's an affiliate site doesn't mean it will always favor the product for which the affiliate gets the best commission. I run an affiliate site and have reviews as part of the site. Most products reviewed are products that I would get a commission from, but if I want to build up user loyalty, I really need to work to gain the trust of my visitors. I'm not going to be able to do that if i'm giving good reviews to products that suck, just because they have a higher commission. It's not about the amount of commission, but instead about ROI.

If a customer visits my site, and is "tricked" into purchasing a product based on a shoddy review, they'll return the product and I won't get the commission anyway. Doesn't it make more sense to just review products honestly?

I think i'm getting off topic. The bottom line here is that the only reason it's not fair to you is because you're not ranking above them. If you had the top spot and they had the 8 below you, I wonder if you'd still think it was unfair.

I think the best plan of attack here for you is to study those pages that are ranking better and adjust your landing pages, etc. accordingly. Figure out what your competition is doing, then do it better.


12:02 am on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I shouldn't have generalised. Not all of these sites provide misleading information, but there are some that give the rest a bad name.

Personally I'm not worried about rank, because it's not a problem for me. I just don't like any site that provides misleading information, or similar trickery. The web is full of these sites, but at least when they're being advertised we have some avenue for voicing our concerns in an effective way.


1:05 pm on Dec 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The best course of action for this is optimize your ads and landing pages, showcase only relevant information on your landing page, Google always give priority to good landing pages and relevant ads regardless of your bid and get to page 1.


7:32 pm on Dec 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I feel your pain. Try this on for size, I have proven to a google rep that our competitor was triple serving ads by having their company page and 2 review sites. When i say I proved it, i mean I proved it to the point of linking the company HQ to the review site address. The other site was just as east to figure out because that review site uses (to this day) the same live chat ID as the compnay site.

I proved it to Google, they shut them down because it was the right thing to do, and then within 60 days (just when the economy really tanked) they let them back in. I have emails statuing that I was right and that power above the rep i was dealing with had a different opinion. I suspect that opinion is 500k annually.

I dont have just a dial in number to contact reps, i have a team that actually fly's across the country to visit our company, so its not just a fauled promise by some rep, it was a directive handed down by a department. I suspect that I am not alone in this and its just part of doing business with Google these days.

So i can understand why you would be annoyed.


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